The 59th International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) concluded its annual session on November 17, 2023, emphasizing the importance of sustainable forest management and the trade of responsibly sourced tropical timber. The ITTC, the governing body of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), convened in Thailand to discuss and address critical issues affecting the world’s tropical forests.
The session yielded five key decisions, including the endorsement of eight projects focused on sustainable forest management and related objectives. Additionally, the ITTC approved a budget of $7.1 million for the 2024-25 financial year and adopted a comprehensive work program for the same period.
In a noteworthy move, the council approved a trial measure allowing members in arrears to submit project proposals and concept notes. This temporary provision aims to encourage members to fulfill their financial obligations while ensuring their continued participation in ITTO’s initiatives.
The European Union, a significant consumer of tropical timber, expressed concerns about the state of global forests in light of climate change and biodiversity loss. The EU pledged its commitment to ensuring that its consumption practices do not contribute to further deforestation.
ITTC Chair Mohammed Nurudeen Iddrisu lauded the session’s productivity and highlighted the importance of collective action in preserving tropical forests. The council is expected to make a decision by June 1, 2024, on extending its mandate for three years, until 2029.